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Unnecessary Monsters Study Guide

Bullying Statistics

  • It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. Source: National Education Association.

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  • 1 in 7 Students in Grades K–12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying.
  • 64 percent of children who were bullied did not report it; only 36 percent reported the bullying.
  • 56% of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school.
  • 282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month.
  • 46 percent of males followed by 26 percent of females have admitted to being victims in physical fights as reported in one report of bullying statistics by the Bureau of Justice School.
  • 90% of 4th through 8th graders report being victims of bullying.
  • 86% of students said, “other kids picking on them, making fun of them or bullying them” causes teenagers to turn to lethal violence in the schools.
  • 61% of students said students shoot others because they have been victims of physical abuse at home.
  • 54% of students said witnessing physical abuse at home can lead to violence in school.
  • According to bullying statistics, 1 out of every 10 students who drops out of school does so because of repeated bullying.

Celebrities Who Have Been Bullied

um_bassLance Bass, Member of the Boy Band N’Sync
In an interview with E! Lance Bass admitted to being a bully himself to other gay kids or kids who believe to be gay. Bass states, “As a kid I was definitely considered a bully.” He described himself as not being that “physical bully where I pushed people down” but he would make gay jokes and laugh along with the other kids making those jokes. Bass explained “I just wanted to fit it, I wanted to be cool and I didn’t want to be an outsider.” For Bass, his bullying was a defensive mechanism, he says “every time I heard a gay joke I knew it could be me.” Lance Bass came out in an interview with People magazine in July 2006. Watch Video
um_bullockSandra Bullock, Oscar-Winning Actress
“I’d come back (to school) from Europe and I looked like a clown compared to the cool way the other students looked and dressed. So I got my ass whooped a little bit. Kids are mean, and the sad thing is that I can still remember the first and last names of every one of those kids who were mean to me!”
um_gagaLady Gaga, Grammy Award-Winning Singer
“I say this with the most genuineness from my heart, and that’s that bullying really sticks with you your whole life and really never goes away… I was never the winner. I was always the loser and that still stays with me.” The singing superstar told reporters that in school she was thrown into a trashcan. As well as being called humiliating and profane names in front of large groups of people. Lady Gaga has since started Born This Way Foundation to help those kids who are bullied. Watch Video
um_colferChris Colfer, plays Kurt Hummel on Glee
“I personally was never physically bullied or tossed into dumpsters, but I definitely was verbally and socially bullied… I remember one time someone screamed ‘fag’ at me in the hallway, and I screamed back, ‘Yeah, but can you spell it?’ Everyone in the hallway laughed at the other kid; it was nice to reverse the abuse.” Watch Video
um_princePrince Harry Windsor, Prince of England
Prince Harry has always been a standout member of the Royal Family because of his bright red hair. In 2007, he revealed that he had been bullied in school for having red hair. Even in the military, the jokes about his red hair did not cease.
um_winsletKate Winslet, Oscar-Winning Actress
Kate Winslet was bullied about her weight in school. Winslet has always battled her weight, but in school it was especially bad. The kids would call her “blubber” and say things like “Ah it’s such a shame, because you have such a pretty face.”
um_snowBrittany Snow, Television and Film Actress
Many people find it surprising that someone as beautiful and talented as Brittany Snow was ever bullied in school, but it’s true. Snow was bullied on a daily basis by a girl jealous of her success who left “nasty notes” in Snow’s school locker, passed out taunting fliers and even taught other girls to sing a disparaging song about her in the lunchroom. Her bully would also hit and throw things at her. The bullying affected her physical and mental health. Snow has battled issues with depression, anorexia, and cutting herself. In response to bullying, Snow has started the Love is Louder campaign. Watch Video
um_durstFred Durst, Vocalist of the Multi-Platinum Rock Band Limp Bizkit
Fred Durst certainly doesn’t come across as someone that was beat up on at school, but back in the day the lead singer was the underdog. He was getting beat up all the time. Bullying was actually the reason that Limp Bizkit broke up because their music was fueling the bullies that were picking on the underdog. Relating with the underdog, Durst felt he needed to put a stop to the music.

Resources

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The Born This Way Foundation was founded in 2011 to foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. The Foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world.

GLSEN works with educators, policy makers, community leaders and students on the urgent need to address anti-LGBT behavior and bias in schools. GLSEN strives to protect students from bullying and harassment, to advance comprehensive safe schools laws and policies, to empower principals to make their schools safer, and to build the skills of educators to teach respect for all people.

Georgia DOE Bullying Prevention Toolkit

Love is Louder was started by The Jed Foundation, MTV and Brittany Snow to support anyone feeling mistreated, misunderstood or alone. It’s hundreds of thousands of people just like you who have turned this idea into a movement. A movement of all types of people who have come together to raise the volume around the message that love and support are louder than any internal or external voice that brings us down.

More than 160 schools in the Southeast region participate in the popular anti-bias training, No Place for Hate Campaign, which gives students an opportunity to understand the damaging impact that bullying and bigotry have on individuals as well as the social fabric of the schools. This program is free to schools and easy to integrate into the core curriculum, even as it teaches important messages about the destructive impact of hate.

PACERTeensAgainstBullying: Created by and for teens, this website is a place for middle and high school students to find ways to address bullying, to take action, to be heard, and to own an important social cause.

Peace First is a national nonprofit that teaches young people the critical skills of conflict resolution, cooperation, and civic engagement. Peace First has launched new national campaign to celebrate young people leading change to create peaceful communities. Five amazing young people between the ages of 8 and 22 will each receive a $50,000, two-year fellowship to recognize their peacemaking work and invest in their leadership.

SchoolTipline.com provides a way for students to report school bullying anonymously through text and email.

STOMP Out Bullying is focused on reducing bullying and cyberbullying.

StopBullying.gov provides information from various government agencies on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk, and how you can prevent and respond to bullying.

The Trevor Project runs the Trevor Lifeline, a 24-hour, national crisis and suicide prevention lifeline for gay and questioning teens. The number is 1-866-4-U-Trevor


Role on the Wall

After seeing Unnecessary Monsters, right-click the human outline below, download it to your computer and print it out. Choose a character that was being bullied in the show. On the outside of the human outline write down the things you know about the character (facts). On the inside of the human outline write down their thoughts and feelings—the things we can’t see. This helps us understand the character better which helps the actor create a more convincing character. Now, create another “role on the wall” for one of the bullies in Unnecessary Monsters. Are there any similarities between the bully and the person being bullied? What other observations can you make?

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What is Cyberbullying?

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Cyberbullying is when a child or teenager is harassed, humiliated, embarrassed, threatened or tormented using digital technology. This is not limited to the Internet; cyber bullying also encompasses bullying done through such things as text messages using cell phones. It is important to note that cyber bulling can only happen between minors. When an adult is harassing children or teenagers, it is known as cyber harassment or cyber stalking. Though cyber bullying has become unfortunately common, there are some ways that youth, parents, and other concerned adults can help prevent or stop cyber bullying:

  • Don’t respond. If someone bullies you, remember that your reaction is usually exactly what the bully wants. It gives him or her power over you. Who wants to empower a bully?
  • Don’t retaliate. Getting back at the bully turns you into one and reinforces the bully’s behavior. Help avoid a whole cycle of aggression.
  • Save the evidence. The only good news about digital bullying is that the harassing messages can usually be captured, saved, and shown to someone who can help. You need to do this even if it’s minor stuff, in case things escalate.
  • Talk to a trusted adult. You deserve backup. It’s always good to involve a parent but—if you can’t—a school counselor usually knows how to help. Sometimes both are needed. If you’re really nervous about saying something, see if there’s a way to report the incident anonymously at school.
  • Block the bully. If the harassment’s coming in the form of instant messages, texts, or profile comments, do yourself a favor: Use preferences or privacy tools to block the person. If it’s in chat, leave the “room.”
  • Be civil. Even if you don’t like someone, it’s a good idea to be decent and not sink to the other person’s level. Also, research shows that gossiping about and trash talking others increases your risk of being bullied. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
  • Don’t be a bully. How would you feel if someone harassed you? You know the old saying about walking a mile in someone’s shoes; even a few seconds of thinking about how another person might feel can put a big damper on aggression. That’s needed in this world.
  • Be a friend, not a bystander. Watching or forwarding mean messages empowers bullies and hurts victims even more. If you can, tell bullies to stop or let them know harassment makes people look stupid and mean. It’s time to let bullies know their behavior is unacceptable—cruel abuse of fellow human beings. If you can’t stop the bully, at least try to help the victim and report the behavior.

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What To Do If You’re Approached by a Bully

  1. Stay calm.

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  2. Act brave. When you’re scared of another person, you’re probably not feeling your bravest. Sometimes just appearing to be brave can stop a bully, stand tall, keep your head high and walk away.
  3. Ignore a bully. Ignoring a bully’s threats and walking away takes the power away from the bully. Bullies want to get a reaction to their teasing and meanness.
  4. Stand up for yourself by telling the bully to “stop” and then walk away.
  5. Be a buddy. If you or a friend are being bullied, use the buddy system. Make a plan to walk with a friend or two on the way to school or lunch or wherever you think you might meet the bully. Offer to do the same for a friend who’s having trouble with a bully.
  6. Don’t bully back. Don’t hit, kick, or push back to deal with someone bullying you or your friends. Fighting back just satisfies a bully and it’s dangerous, too, because someone could get hurt. It’s best to stay with others, stay safe, and get help from an adult.